The felted fiber ball looked like this when I first began this fiber art project. I started by wrapping merino roving and yarn around a 16″ ball. I needed to wrap the ball with yarn to keep the roving in place until I felted it. Many layers of roving and yarn were applied and the ball was then wet felted.
Felting was done by wrapping the ball in netting to secure it and rolling it around a slop sink with hot water, soap and through the use of friction until the fibers melded together. Here are a few of the stages of making the fiber ball.
The next photograph shows the fiber ball after it has been felted once, with layers of roving, nibs (tiny pieces of roving) and yarns. Many more layers are applied, but not wet felted, which gives the ball layers and depth. As you can see, there are still many large chunks of wool and not much detail.
In the next photo, “A little further along,” you see how much more details have been added with less chunks of merino roving visible.
From this point, it took many months to add all the embellishments you see in the final felted fiber ball, below.
Many more details were added before the felted fiber ball was complete, including metallic threads, bits of yarns in a variety of materials, silk fabric and even cheesecloth was added! I have collected yarns and fiber art supplies for years, and have a nice stash of supplies. However, when I felt stuck in this project, I would check out new yarn store or visit one of my favorites to see what was new to add to my collection for the fiber ball.
One of my favorite places to find new yarns and felting supplies is at the annual Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool Festival–something I look forward to every year!
For more information on how to wet felt: How to wet felt
I often order from New England Felting Supply and always visit their booth at the Rhonebeck Sheep & Wool Festival: Felting supplies